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Seven new deaths, 315 additional cases of COVID-19 in Alberta

Last Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 6:36 am MDT

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the new numbers during an update Wednesday. (Credit: Livestream, April 29)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A total of 315 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, as well as an additional seven deaths in the last 24 hours.

From the 5,165 confirmed cases, 1,953 have recovered.

Six of the deaths came from Calgary’s Clifton Manor continuing care facility.

“This sad news is not a reflection of the work that has gone into managing this outbreak at the site,” Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her update.

“My local colleagues tell me that the site responded promptly, created an isolation ward and worked hard to prevent the spread.”

She said the deaths show just how powerful the virus can be in a closed environment.

There have now been 503 confirmed cases in continuing care facilities in Alberta, as well as 821 in the Cargill meatpacking plant and 276 in the JBS plant in Brooks.

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“We have taken every outbreak seriously and have used our fundamental outbreak control principles to limit spread in (areas) of concern.”

Hinshaw explained that the outbreak strategy involves three elements – prevention preparedness, rapid response and outbreak management.

She said the measures put into place are absolutely necessary but can, at times, result in a hard hit to mental health.

“I know they are causing many residents to feel further isolation. This is something that I think about often and I have heard people’s stories,” she said.

To help maintain mental health, Hinshaw announced that residents in continuing care facilities may now enjoy outdoor visits with one essential visitor, as well as one additional guest.

All precautions, such as physical distancing and wearing a mask or face cover, must be followed during visits.

In addition, those who are near the end of their life are allowed two visitors at a time, as long as physical distance can be maintained between the visitors.

New standards are also to be put into place for residential addiction treatment facilities, as precautions for continuing care may not apply.

The new measures accommodate special situations, such as group therapy.